Rome has for centuries been a source of inspiration for Nordic artists, having mmany of them as long-term guests int the eternal city. In the middle of the 19th century there were no less than three Nordic libraries in Rome. The Danish, the Swedish and the Norweigan libraries united in 1860, and Circolo Scandinavo per Artisti e Scienziati was founded. Since then has Circolo Scandinavo worked as a Nordic meeting point in Rome.
Circolo Scandinavo gained economic support from the Scandinavian governments and Finnish and Icelandic artists soon received membership in the association. The club has had many distinguished visitors, for example Henrik Ibsen, Selma Lagerlöf, Sigrid Undset, Halldór Laxness and Evert Taube. August Strindberg also has left his signature in the guestbook.
Circolo Scandinavo became an artist residency in the 1960’s and has been supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers since 1975. It has operated in several addresses in Rome, and since 2006 it has been located on Via della Lungara in a large, spacious apartment in the stately “Casino di Vigna” which was built in the 16th century. The house is neighbour to Villa Farnesina and lies opposite to Palazzo Corsini, which is known as the home of the Swedish Queen Kristina, who spent the last 35 years of here life there.